The Philadelphia Flyers have traded defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the rights to defenseman Chris Pronger to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for center Sam Gagner and a conditional pick in 2016 or 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Give it up to Flyers GM Ron Hextall for creatively finding a way to shed two burdensome contracts (combined cap hit of over $8.4 million) while adding an affordable depth forward ($3.2 million cap hit) in Gagner. Hextall isn’t out of cap hell just yet, as he’s carrying over $65.7 million in cap payroll, but he’s in better shape now than he was at the start of today. He might not be done, as Luke Schenn, Mark Streit or Andrew MacDonald could also be shopped in cost-cutting deals.
As for the Coyotes, they have plenty of cap space to absorb Grossmann’s and Pronger’s contracts. Pronger, of course, is all but retired and will never skate with the Coyotes, but Grossman will provide experienced depth to their young defense corps. With over $37 million invested in payroll, the Coyotes still have plenty of room to take on more salary.